The Korea Trade Commission was founded in July 1987. It had a chairperson, four commissioners and eight staff members, in accordance with Article 38 of the Foreign Trade Act enacted in December 1986. The organization initially merely fulfilled an advisory role of reviewing and clarifying the impact of imports on domestic industry and cases of violation of the Foreign Trade Act, before the Ministry of Commerce and Industry implemented trade remedy measures and administration.
In December 1989, along with the revision of the Foreign Trade Act, the Korea Trade Commission changed its institutional identity into a consultative administration organization, its function being expanded to determine whether to initiate an investigation, make determination of injury to domestic industry and the measures for itself.
In April 1990, the size of the Commission expanded. The number of commissioners increased from five to nine people, including the chairperson. The Office of Investigation was established as an executive office with four divisions and 50 staff members. This new Office was in charge of the whole business process of the Korea Trade Commission.
During the 1990s, concerns heightened regarding anti-dumping and safeguard systems, owing to import opening enforced in the context of trade liberalization. At the same time, a need arose to revise the procedures for anti-dumping investigations, which were a long and complex procedure at that time. In December 1993, the anti-dumping system was altered considerably. Acceptance of application for the imposition of anti-dumping duties, as well as determination on whether the initiation of anti-dumping investigations are necessary, were transferred from the Ministry of Finance to the Korea Trade Commission. The length of time for determination whether to initiate an investigation was reduced from three months to one month. A preliminary investigation system was also introduced. The whole process of the dumping investigation was re-arranged to be completed within a maximum of six months (three months preliminary investigation, and three months main investigation). The provisional and definitive measures to impose anti-dumping duties had to be decided within a month after the Korea Trade Commission submitted the investigation result.
Along with the launch of the WTO regime in January 1995, the opening and liberalization of the domestic market progressed rapidly. Consequently, the demand for using the anti-dumping system increased more than the safeguard system which had complex operation and compensation measures. Accordingly, the anti-dumping system was revised again. In this revision, the investigation of the dumping rate was transferred from the Office of Customs Administration to the Korea Trade Commission. The latter was also assigned to review, deliberate, and propose the tentative and final anti-dumping duty rate and imposition period to the Minister of Finance and Economy, apart from delivering reports on the existence or nonexistence of industrial injury. As a result of this revision, the Korea Trade Commission nominally and virtually became an industrial injury relief related investigation, review, and judgment organizationin charge of managing the anti-dumping duty, countervailing duty, and safeguard system. In terms of organization, the Price Investigation Department, whose specialized role was to investigate the dumping rate and subsidy rate, was established.
Due to the scale-down of the governmental organizations, Industrial Injury Investigation Departments I and II were integrated in May 1999. As a result of its rearranged role, its organization structure became slim.
In January 2001, by establishing a Trade Remedy Act, the role of the Korea Trade Commission was reinforced in conducting investigation and pursuing corrective countermeasures
The KTC took place the Seminar on Trade Remedies subtitled "Trade Remedy : Its Trends and Characteristics." Experts on trade remedies in domestic and foreign countries such as the USA, China, India and the EU were invited as one of the presenters in the seminar. They made presentations and discussions on various subjects related to the its operation on the Trade Remedies.
The KTC set up the 2nd trade remedies seminar focusing on Each Country's Experience and Search for Future Direction with well known experts on those subjects including WTO Secretariat and senior investigators from Brazil, Mexico and other countries already attended in the first seminar in 2004.
The presentation form has changed from seminar to forum subtitled In-depth Study Focusing on Sunset Reviews of Anti-dumping, and Other Current Issues since 2005. Presentations on sunset review were processed by Senior officials from the 8 anti-dumping authorities including Canada and Australia as new members. Other subject such as "Anti-circumvention" and "The Fight Against Counterfeiting and Piracy" were actively presented and discussed.